Sony to can MiniDisc Walkman
19-year-old player no longer has legs
While the news will prompt an uncomprehending look from 99 per cent of Brits, the few remaining fans of Sony's MiniDisc format will mourn the MD Walkman's passing when production ceases in September.
The MD Walkman was launched in Japan in 1992, and that's one of the few places where you can still buy a player outside of eBay.
But not enough folk are doing so, and Sony is knocking MiniDIsc Walkman production on the head, Japan's Nikkei newspaper claims today.
MiniDisc was one of a number of formats launched to supersede the compact cassette, DAT and DCC among them. Only MiniDisc prospered as an audio format. DCC was quickly killed. DAT found a home not in audio but as a data back-up medium.
Having splashed out on CDs, punter seemed unwilling to buy into a second new format solely for mobile audio usage. Especially when cassettes were cheap and you recording your CDs to them was so convenient.
Nikkei says that, as of March, Sony had sold around 22m MD Walkman units - even today, with the shift to phones in full swing, Apple sells more iPods than that it in a single year.
Still, at a recording medium MiniDisc was a hit, and Sony will continue to make both discs and MD-compatible hi-fi kit. ®
Some people actually needed to plug PROFESSIONAL microphones into small location recorders. Cheap tat from Belkin doesn't always cut it. Even relatively cheap minidisc recorders used to have acceptable AD converters in them
"DAT found a home not in audio but as a data back-up medium"
DAT was foremost the default medium for professional recording and mastering in music studios around the world. I too used DATs for all my masters!
Most cassettes too that I purchased from raves was labelled - 'DAT mastered' cause they were recorded straight from source to DAT tape.
A good format for the time.
Fantastic for in the car and on the move with its protected discs. It was pretty cheap and reliable too.
I still miss my Ford Puma with the Sony 6 MD changer in the glovebox.
The main trick Sony missed was not pushing it as a data format. They just made a few units and forgot about it.
Sony had a solid and reliable re-writeable data format (fairly cheap media too) a few good years before affordable and reliable CD burners and CD-RW came along. I would have killed for a 150MB disk format in 1993 for my PC. It could have killed floppies. I could have backed up my entire 1993 PC to one MD!
Zipdrives certainly wouldnt have flourished.
I had two Sony MD walkmen years ago...
They filled the gap beautifully between tape and MP3 players that could hold a reasonable amount of music. At the time I had mine you could only get about one album on an MP3 player, so a minidisc player and a pocket full of discs was far better.
Of course, hard drive based players like the iPod soon put paid to that.
I also used mine to record and edit interviews for our student radio station, which you certainly can't do on an iPod Classic.
I quite liked mine, but it was quickly made redundant by ipods etc. It was much better than CD or cassettes if you did alot of travelling.
I was quite shocked to sell all my old MD stuff for quite a high price on ebay recently. Apparently it is still the format of choice for radio station jingle producers and other niches.